Today at the Landings: 48 °F

Tips to Protect Yourself Against Mosquito-Borne Viruses

By Sean Burgess - seanb@landings.org
Public Works Director

From West Nile to Zika, people everywhere continue to search for ways to protect themselves and their families against mosquito-borne illnesses.

The best way to protect yourself and your family from becoming infected with mosquito-borne illnesses is to make sure your home is not a breeding ground for them. Following are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help ensure mosquitos stay away.

  • Eliminate standing water in and around your home - Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers. Check inside and outside your home. Be certain to tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, and rain barrels) so that mosquitos cannot get inside to lay eggs. For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
  • Use screens on windows and doors - Screens and doors keep mosquitos out of your house. Repair holes in screens immediately.
  • Once you have your home front secure, turn your attention to yourself. Face it; there are times for both work and play that you will be exposed to mosquitos. You don’t have to go it alone.
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent with Deet, Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and Icaridin), IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or para-methane-diol (PMD). All EPA-registered insect repellents are evaluated to make sure they are safe and effective.
  • Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants.
  • Treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) with permethrin, or purchase permethrin-treated clothing and gear.

With a little caution and preplanning, you can protect yourself from mosquitos. For more information about mosquito protection and the latest on the Zika Virus, visit www.cdc.gov/zika. For more information on West Nile, visit www.cdc.gov/westnile.

If you see an increase in mosquitoes near your home, please phone Chatham County's Mosquito Control Division (912-790-2540) to request spray service in your area.